Is getting laser eye surgery worthwhile?
- Laser eye surgery, also best known as LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis), consists of “a special type of cutting laser is used to precisely change the shape of the dome-shaped clear tissue at the front of your eye (cornea) to improve vision.” It makes it possible for people to see clearly without glasses or contact lenses.
- LASIK eye surgery was invented by ophthalmologist Dr. Gholam Peyman's, who was awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation by President Obama in 2013.
- In 2016, Pew Research Center reported that 9% of American adults had had laser eye surgery.
- The American Refractive Surgery Council reports the percentage of LASIK surgery resulting in complications is ‘one percent, as opposed to 30 percent that reports transient side effects’.'
- In the US, the average cost of LASIK surgery is “approximately $2,200 per eye or $4,400 for both.”
LASIK eye surgery is nothing short of a modern medical miracle. For those who wear glasses, LASIK has had a profoundly positive impact on their lives. Some might be apprehensive about the safety of such a procedure that requires a laser to cut into the eye's outer layer to reshape the cornea, but LASIK has been proven to have a 96% success rate. With a relatively quick recovery rate, there is little to no inconvenience for getting such a surgery. LASIK has proven to be permanently corrective in almost every instance, with no follow-up procedures.
Being prescribed to wear glasses or contacts is an indefinite diagnosis in multiple ways. It impacts the way people who wear glasses live, and in the case of glasses, how they look. And eye contacts come with an array of risks, including increased eye infections, corneal ulcers, and in some rare cases, blindness (when these two risks are left untreated or become too severe). But since the advent of LASIK eye surgery, those who suffer from impaired vision now have options that were previously nonexistent to them. And those who find contact lenses uncomfortable and have a lifestyle that is not conducive to wearing eyeglasses all day, this is a viable alternative option for them. For those concerned with the dangers of the surgery, it has proven to be virtually painless. LASIK will permanently negate the need for either glasses or contacts and garner long-lasting or near-permanent results.
Finally, contacts and glasses are always at risk of being lost, damaged (scratched, etc.), or misplaced. With LASIK, one never has to worry about their ability to see being compromised by lost or damaged eyewear. It's time to open our eyes and see that LASIK eye surgery is the best option.
Laser eye surgery (LASIK) may seem like a ticket to perfect vision and freedom from glasses. However, there's more to this procedure than meets the eye. Firstly, the procedure isn't suitable for everyone. For instance, it's not recommended for individuals younger than 18 years, those who may be on certain medications or have certain medical conditions like diabetes. Even those who can undergo laser eye surgery have several factors to consider before taking this step.
Take the price of the procedure for instance. The average cost is between $2,000 to $3,000 per eye. Insurance doesn't cover this sum as LASIK is considered an elective or cosmetic procedure. On the other hand, the cost of glasses ranges to about $275 on average after insurance. What actually makes this cost a bitter pill to swallow is the fact that laser eye surgery isn't permanent.
Individuals who underwent it may still experience changes in their vision due to cataracts, dry eye syndrome, and other problems. Therefore, they may require this procedure again, others like it, or even glasses later.
Laser eye surgery may also not correct vision altogether, especially for individuals who are very nearsighted or farsighted. Their results are 'less predictable,' and the possible benefits may not justify the risks.
And regarding risks, even mild side effects can last for up to 12 months. Some complications may never truly go away. Individuals may experience a decrease in sharpness and contrast sensitivity. As this procedure is irreversible, they may be stuck with these for life. Due to these reasons alone, it's best to perform thorough due diligence and research before undergoing laser eye surgery to see if this is best for one's particular situation, especially with one's vision and quality of life on the line.
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